Around the world, alumni will be wishing happy 300th birthday to Yale this year.
This May, there will be a tercentennial birthday party in Hong Kong for all Yale alumni living in Asia. In July, Yale alumni living in Europe are invited to celebrate their alma mater’s birthday in London.
Yale President Richard Levin, University Secretary Linda Lorimer and Strobe Talbott, the director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, will be in Hong Kong on May 4-5 for the celebration, which will feature exhibits, lectures, concerts and a gala ball. The globalization center, whose creation was first announced last November, will be officially launched in Hong Kong. Talbott will host a luncheon and explain the plans and aspirations of the center.
The Hong Kong event will also honor the 100th birthday of the Yale-China Association, marking the longest relationship between China and an American university. The Yale-China Association is a non-profit organization that promotes mutual understanding between the peoples of China and the United States through cultural and educational exchange. It was first founded in 1901 to teach American medical and nursing practices in China.
Lorimer said the July London event is expected to be much larger than the one in Hong Kong because there are so many more alumni living in Europe. The Yale Alumni Chorus will perform in St. Paul’s Cathedral on July 6, culminating its European tour, which begins in late June.
“We expect St. Paul’s to be full,” Lorimer said.
Administrators said they believe celebrating the Tercentennial worldwide is fitting for Yale as the University enters its 4th century.
“It seemed important to reinforce our role around the world and to underscore the fact that many of our graduates and an increasing number of our academic programs are resident outside the United States,” Lorimer said.
Event coordinators are not yet sure how many alumni will be attending either celebration. All the Hong Kong events are being held at the Conrad International Hotel.
Paul Gerwitz, director of the newly established China Law Center at the Yale Law School, and School of Management Dean Jeffrey Garten will also be at the Hong Kong celebrations, leading panel discussions. There will also be delegates from all major universities in Hong Kong. Administrators expect alumni to come from Singapore, South Korea and Japan, among other Asian countries.
At the European event, guests will arrive in London on July 6 and will hear the alumni chorus as well as several lectures. The next day, guests have the option of visiting either Oxford or Cambridge universities, whose campuses are the antecedents to Yale’s residential college system. There will also be visits to the home of Elihu Yale in Wrexham, Wales, and a parade to the town church, where the alumni chorus will perform again.
The tercentennial events abroad compliment the three major celebratory weekends in New Haven. The second of these weekends, devoted to Yale’s most active alumni, is this weekend.